I’ve been struggling with time – namely that I don’t feel as if I have nearly enough of it. My list of obligations and opportunities is long and the hours I have to meet both seem woefully inadequate.
I’ve maximized and prioritized and shifted and said no, but still I have a sense that I’m in a race that I am perpetually losing.
I never feel productive or accomplished anymore, only defeated. So exhausted by all that I have to do that I don’t even want to start.
There never seems to be enough time.
Time isn’t actually a real thing. This is something I’ve heard over and over again and it never fails to bug me with its corny truthfulness.
Hours, minutes, progress reports, deadlines, anniversaries, eras… they are all constructs. They are all ideas created by humans to help make our communities run a little more smoothly. They loosely follow the path of the sun across the sky, and the earth’s journey through its orbit, but we still try to assert our dominance over even the dominion of day and night. (Daylight Savings Time, anyone?)
All of these ticks of the clock and chimes of the alarm bells serve to poke and prod our central nervous systems, making us hurry, making us multi-task, making us fail. We ignore the natural rhythms and needs of our bodies to wake and eat and sleep when it fits into our schedules. We celebrate (and fear) birthdays, honor anniversaries as an achievement, and confidently slap labels on whole generations of people just because they were born in the same period of time.
All because of something we made up.
I chose my words carefully in that first paragraph. It seems as though I don’t have enough time. It feels like I’m falling behind. The feelings are real, but they are tied into my perception that time is real, is absolute.
What if I didn’t buy into it?
What if I fully accepted that the only real time is the present moment? The past is gone. The future is completely out of our control and not promised to any of us.
With this breath, in this moment, I can choose to be a slave to time, or I can choose to be free.
(In case you were wondering, feeling free feels way better.)
Of course, when one lives in community with others, the tool of time is highly useful. It helps us to get valuable work accomplished and know when to meet a friend for coffee. But time is not in my control any more than the tilt of the earth on its axis or arbitrary boundaries of time zones.
I will never win a fight against social constructs. But maybe, just maybe, I can stop waging the war on myself.
Photos taken by me at Swan Island Dahlias.
I’ve tried to get there for the past three weeks
and never had time. Last night I went,
too late for sunset, but just in time
for a sweet stroll in the twilight.